Saturday, April 24, 2010

Moral Dilemas pt.9

The Mad Bomber
300Px-Classic Time Bomb
A madman who has threatened to explode several bombs in crowded areas has been apprehended. Unfortunately, he has already planted the bombs and they are scheduled to go off in a short time. It is possible that hundreds of people may die. The authorities cannot make him divulge the location of the bombs by conventional methods. He refuses to say anything and requests a lawyer to protect his fifth amendment right against self-incrimination. In exasperation, some high level official suggests torture. This would be illegal, of course, but the official thinks that it is nevertheless the right thing to do in this desperate situation. Do you agree? If you do, would it also be morally justifiable to torture the mad bomber’s innocent wife if that is the only way to make him talk? Why?


  1. We only have a "short time"? Then what would the point be in torturing him... By the time you hit his breaking point, it would be too late.

  2. Tape his eyelids open and force him to watch a golden girls marathon. He'll talk. Ooooh he'll talk.

  3. I agree with mystery man. Torture takes to long for one thing. And another it is just wrong to torture. Maybe threatening to torture his wife. But not actually. By law, law enforcement officers are allowed to lie to suspects.